London Part 1: Arrival at the Strand Palace Hotel

A few weeks ago, my sister and I went to visit London for two days as a graduation/birthday celebration. London can be very expensive to visit and stay. Whilst searching for somewhere to stay, I came across Strand Palace Hotel, a four star hotel situated in the heart of London, just opposite the Savoy Theatre. Early advance booking for a twin room came to £355 for two nights. I used http://www.booking.com to book the room, an easy way to sort out our accommodation during our stay. After booking and paying for the room, I later found out that if you book direct from the hotel’s website, they would offer a free bottle of Prosecco and a £15 voucher to use in their restaurants and bar. Ah…

We arrived early afternoon to check in. We had the good fortune(!) at visiting London during the hottest days of the year so it was so good to enter the air conditioned reception area. Inside the hotel looks amazing – there are also shops, restaurants and bars on the lower level of the hotel.

In reception area we waited to check in. There is a lounge area for sitting with free newspapers and magazines, and there are free apples at reception desk!

When booking, I requested a quiet room for sleeping. We were allocated a room on the sixth floor towards the back of the hotel. The room itself was quite small but very clean. It has most facilities that I would wish for – body lotion, soap, shampoo, shower gel, towels, kettle, tea, coffee, biscuits, bottled mineral water. In the bedside table are a few magazines, a phone, pen and paper. My biggest complaint is the lack of air conditioning in the rooms. As I mentioned, we visited at a very hot time. There is a fan supplied in the wardrobe but it is very noisy to have on when we are sleeping. The alternative was to open the window, and I did notice a humming from outside (a generator?) which made it harder to get to sleep. I would have expected that a four star hotel would have no problems with such a thing, and it appears to be a common complaint on TripAdvisor. The manager did reply to say that the only rooms with have air conditioning are the executive rooms, but they are planning to install air conditioning in all of the rooms. There is an expected heatwave coming, so lets hope that this is done soon for the visitors’ sake!

I think I would like to come back to this hotel if I were to visit London when it was cooler. As it stands, Strand Palace Hotel has much to offer – great service, great location, fantastic facilities and relatively inexpensive when compared to other hotels in central London. If and when air conditioning is installed in all rooms, I would consider a summer visit!

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Magazines, toiletries, tea and coffee can be found at the Strand Palace Hotel

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